Lammas with Lady Deanne
(Part One of Real South African Witches)
“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” Lord Byron
KAAPSCHEHOOP Lughnasadh, 2016 -The de Kaap Valley has always been notorious for its Witches and when many arrive for their holidays, in this picturesque little village, they are not aware that in its midst lives a self-identified Witch who casts circles, believes in fairies, breathes Magick spells and sings healing songs of old.
We drove up the Escarpment at dusk, by-passing some wild horses that had foaled and drove down the sandy lane, overhung with luscious arching branches, to the field in front of Lady Deanne’s home. She had set out her altar and ran out to meet us, her tribe of female Yorkies and two cats hot on her dainty heels. We hugged and kissed, giggling like young girls, exchanging compliments, this and that news about our children, our then partners, and how happy we are this late in our lives.
Everything about Lady Deanne bespeaks class and elegance, her home built from stone at the edge of the escarpment, the furnishings, her artwork, the decor and yet, she remains a daughter of the Earth, bubbly, barefooted sprite, that resembles a fairy princess.
We were shortly joined by Greywolf, Little Bear and Sweetpea, the delicious eats we had all prepared and brought along were taken to the ultra modern kitchen, down the wooden floored hallway and corridors.
We were all convened at her home to share sacred space and to celebrate our thanksgiving and harvest tide, which we did under the star-speckled canopy of the Milky Way, Orion right above us, sword in sheath rested across his hip, whilst the bonfire flames crackled and jumped higher and higher in their attempt to ignite the unkept forge-fire of the Thunder Gods, so long forgotten, so long asleep in our Southern skies.
Thrice the Circle was cast and a jackal called from the midst of the African night and how attentively we listened to its medicine song, followed by the mellifluous voice of the Lady of the House, asking the Lord and Lady and the Ancient Ones for their presence. She shared the Season’s Blessings with us gathered within her Circle and we sang songs about our faith, and danced about with rattles, our voices attracting a Porcupine that curiously coasted the Temenos and headed into the mysterious forest at the foot of the field. We shared bread and wine and meditated on the sweet flesh that circles the sacred pentagram in apples, so sought after by the wild horses that tried to steal some from atop the Altar, and decided that the time had come to stand up for Mother Earth and to actively encourage others to revere and respect her.
We supped on the veranda, breads, rice and a vegetarian curry packed full with fresh curry leaves as the breeze turned into a gentle wind and the bamboo chimes and bells wove their magick until the Sandman bid us find our way home, to our sleepy beds.
Lady Deanne is a teacher and organizes spiritual retreats in her beautiful corner of the country. For more information please contact me and I will give you her contact details.